Cheers and Jeers for Friday, November 23, 2018
Note: Just a quick heads-up that there will be no C&J Monday, but we'll be back Tuesday. Have a safe and happy weekend, and remember: there's no difficulty---from flat tires to leaky pipes---that can't be overcome without a healthy dollop of leftover pureed turkey gizzards. It's science, people. It’s science.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the special U.S. Senate election in Mississippi between Democrat Mike Espy and some racist lady Republicans hauled in from the Atchafalaya swamp: 4
Days 'til the Valley Forge Beer Festival: 8
Estimated number of homes lost in the "Camp Fire" in California: 10,500
Estimated number of wild mountain gorillas in east Africa ten years ago and today, respectively: 680 / 1,000
Number of medical marijuana patients who also take opioids who will be followed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to see if their opioid use drops with adjustments to their pot intake: 10,000
Number of animal species besides the wombat that are known to drop cubic poop: 0
Percent of Colorado voters who say they plan to vote for Trump in 2020, according to a Magellan Strategies poll: 23%
Puppy Pic of the Day: Quick butt buff…
CHEERS to getting LeCaged. Our idiot governor here in Maine---Paul LePage---has fought ACA-enabled Medicaid expansion here ever since voters approved a ballot referendum 60%-40%, and he even ignored two orders by the state Supreme Court to get his ass in gear and make it happen. But saving lives just ain't his bag---he's more of a Trump-style "I prefer to eat cheeseburgers in bed while watching TV to governing" kinda guy---so he kept dragging his heels. But the day before thanksgiving, he got his goose cooked one more time and, to mix metaphors, three strikes and he’s out:
Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy issued the order Wednesday, detailing seven steps the Maine Department of Health and Human Services must take to comply with the expansion law, which extends health care coverage to as many as 80,000 low-income Mainers. “Although the governor may believe implementation to be unwise and disagree with the (expansion law) as a matter of policy, he may not ignore the will of the people and refuse to take any action toward accomplishing the policy objectives of the (law),” Murphy wrote in her 21-page order. […]
Governor-elect Janet Mills, a Democrat, has said she will make expansion of Medicaid under the voter-approved law the first priority for her administration when she takes office in January.Popping up at state border crossings throughout Maine in 40 days
Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, which sued LePage over his delays in implementing the law, called Murphy’s order a “huge victory” for the thousands of Mainers who have “been unfairly denied health care. This is also a victory for the Maine voters and for the rule of law,” Merrill said in a written statement. “The executive branch has a duty to carry out all the laws, not pick and choose, and today’s ruling holds them accountable.”
Basically the ruling says two things: 1) get your ass in gear and ramp up the Medicaid expansion now and 2) because of your ineptitude, everyone who sought Medicaid services going back to July gets retroactively reimbursed for any of their own out-of-pocket expenses they had to pay. Meanwhile, Governor LePage reared up on his hind legs when he heard about the ruling and yelled, "I'm appealing!" Oh, brother, not on your best day, pal.
CHEERS to confronting the bullies among us. We won’t be posting Sunday, so we’ll remind you now that November 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. The United Nations provides a little reminder that…
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
November 25 — December 10.
In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:
- intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
- sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment);
- human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
- female genital mutilation; and
- child marriage.
To further clarify, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Just as pink is worn for breast cancer awareness and purple is worn for LGBT Spirit Day, the U.N. urges everyone to wear and/or display orange between Sunday and December 10 to show support for the fight to prevent violence against women. On this site I don’t think that'll be a problem.
CHEERS to the agency we love to hate. Happy Birthday to the Department of Homeland Security---please try to curb your enthusiasm. President Bush signed legislation creating the bureaucratic behemoth 16 years ago this Sunday. (Quick---name the original nominee to be the second DHS director after Tom Ridge. Yep...a crook recommended by Rudy Giuliani named Bernie Kerik. Vetting's fun!) Thanks to DHS, the first thing I do before I start my morning is go to their website for news of any fresh terror attacks, just in case I need to pull "Old Bessie," my Civil War-era cannon, out of the garage and load up the old gal with my secret mix of shrapnel and Alpo. Most days I don't, so I just duct-tape stuff as needed and then sit in my safe room snorking extra-strength Maalox while waiting for someone to spring the freedom traps I got set around the house. Vigilance!
CHEERS to the calm before the calm. Only 7 days 'til the end of Atlantic hurricane season for the U.S. Let's check in and see if NOAA thinks anyone should be building arks:
Nope---all clear. Let’s just quietly tiptoe along and speak no more of it. And for God’s sake, someone tell Carnival Cruise Lines to cancel their above-deck spinning classes for a week. That’s how these things start.
Not to be confused with Benjamin Franklin Pierce.
CHEERS to "Young Hickory of the Granite Hills.” Now placing just a notch or two above George W. Bush and Donald Trump on the competence scale: New Hampshire's Franklin "#14" Pierce, whose life was a slow downward spiral, from the childhood deaths of his three children (including Benjamin, killed in a train derailment at age 11 after Pierce won the election) and his despondent and unstable wife, to his unsuccessful battle against the bottle. During his lethargic one term in office (1853-1857) he managed to piss just about everybody off, and he failed to get the nomination for a second term. Adding insult to injury, he became so invisible that he didn’t attend successor James Buchanan's inauguration because they forgot to send a carriage to get him. And while that journalist missed Bush with his shoes in Iraq some years back, an assailant did once manage to nail Pierce in D.C. with a hard-boiled egg. You know the drill...go wish him a happy 214th birthday. Lord knows he could use some cheering up.
CHEERS to home vegetation. Just the bare bones basics on TV this weekend, since Bill Maher, SNL, and John Oliver are on break, although tonight Rachel Maddow hosts an encore at 9 (MSNBC) of her documentary on Richard Nixon’s conspiracy against Lyndon Johnson to win the White House.
Jeff Daniels talks about his “To Kill A Mockingbird” Broadway revival, with freshly-polished script by Aaron Sorkin, on ‘60 Minutes.’
New home video releases include the smash hit Crazy Rich Asians and the 50th-anniversary restoration of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The NBA schedule is here, the NFL concussion production schedule is here, and the NHL schedule is here. Highlights of the National Dog Show, hosted by John O’Hurley (Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld) air tomorrow night at 8 on NBC. On 60 Minutes: a report from the Mexican border, robots clean up the humans' giant mess at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant in Japan, and Jeff Daniels takes on the role of Atticus Finch on Broadway in what will likely be a prelude to a new screen version of To Kill A Mockingbird. And here's the Sunday morning lineup. Minor kudos to the bookers for including several Democratic congresswomen-elect on most of the shows last week. I doubt they'll match it, but let's take a look:
Meet the Press: Our next House Oversight chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); Sen Mike Lee (R-UT); billionaire Tom Steyer.
For the 64th straight year: total Sunday show snub of cats.
CNN's State of the Union: Our next House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) SMASH!!! Plus Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).
This Week: TBA
Face the Nation: TBA
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE); former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie. Zero Democrats.
Ten years ago in C&J: November 23, 2008
JEERS to self-parody. Yesterday at noon CNN started their top-hour news with two minutes on the collapse of the U.S. economy. Then they moved to their #2 story, which they gave equal time and treated with equal gravitas: Madonna's divorce. And coming up after the break on "The World's News Leader"---the Jonas Brothers are caught roughhousing again.
And just one more…
CHEERS to Captain-Admiral Billeh: Man of Adventure. With Thanksgiving behind us, we're now smack-dab in the middle of War on Christmas Season. Two years ago the #1 item on my holiday gift list for Santa was the $4,000 Millennium Falcon bed from Pottery Barn. Last year I asked him for this $5 million SEAmagine sub for the C&J kiddie pool. But this year I've set my sights on a happy medium between soaring and floating. Get a load 'o this baby from Hammacher Schlemmer:
This is the hovercraft that glides over land and water yet also soars in the air up to 70 mph with the aid of integrated wings. A 130-hp twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled gasoline engine—turbocharged and fuel-injected---drives its 60"wood/carbon composite thrust propeller while a 1,100-rpm 34" lift fan inflates its durable vinyl-coated nylon skirt for hovering above the ground.“Second star to the right, Mr. Sulu. But first let’s swing by Five Guys for a burger.”
Operating in fresh- or saltwater and up to 30% inclines over sand, mud, grass, swamp,desert, ice, and snow, its wings and horizontal elevator enable pilots to simply hop over water- or land-based obstacles up to 20'-high insurmountable to a typical hovercraft. Comes to rest on Kevlar composite landing skids.Its low center of gravity and composite fiberglass/PVC hull enable it to operate in winds up to 25 mph and waves up to 6' when in flight.
This morning I called Santa and told him that I believe the $190,000 price tag matches the extent to which I've been a good boy this year. The next thing I heard was Mrs. Claus giving him the Heimlich maneuver and then the line went dead. I'll follow up with an email. And probably also ask that cheapskate why I haven’t gotten my Falcon and submarine yet.
Have a great weekend. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?